• WBGO and SummerStage

    June 30, 2009. Posted by Brandy Wood.

    Ledisi at SummerStage 6.28.09

    On Sunday, June 28, WBGO's Josh Jackson hosted a great concert at Central Park SummerStage. The performance began with New Orleans pianist Jonathan Batiste, who paid homage to the late Michael Jackson in both song and attire. Bassist Esperanza Spalding followed with a set that ran the gamut of funk to soul to Ella inspired scat.

    Closing the performance was rising star of soul and jazz, Ledisi (LED-ih-see as she pointed out several times from the stage and in cards handed out after the show). If the pronunciation of her name is a little confusing, there is no confusion what so ever about her voice or her command of the stage.

    There are a great number of WBGO partner events this summer, many of them at no cost. Please visit the WBGO Events page for full details.

  • HONOR! Sacred Ellington with Jessye Norman, Soprano

    March 10, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.


    Genesis!  Exodus!  Leviticus! Deuteronomy!

    Duke Ellington composed three Sacred Concerts, and in his lifetime each was performed once – the first at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965, the second at St. John the Divine in New York in 1968, and the last at Westminster Abbey in London in 1973. Ellington's funeral took place at St. John the Divine at 112th and Amsterdam Avenue. It is a huge space, with a seating capacity of thousands who can look up and up and up to the vaulted ceiling. The cathedral has recently reopened after a thorough restoration. This past Saturday night, Carnegie Hall's HONOR! Series restaged music from the Sacred Concerts at St. John the Divine, and it was a sold out crowd. Read more

  • Odetta Comment and Painting

    December 11, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Odetta Painting

    Jeff Shlanger, a performance painter, was inspired to comment about our earlier post on Odetta.

    "Odetta at 19 was dressed in scarlet when she sang 'Another Man Done Gone' in New York for the first time at Yugoslav Hall in 1952. Her huge voice,' out of Alabama through classical training in Los Angeles, permanently thrilled and stunned a packed house."

    Jeff also shared the above MusicWitness image with us. It's called 'Hard Times: I Been Living with the Blues,' something he painted while Odetta was digging deep into the spirit of the blues live at the Knitting Factory in 1996. As the artist describes the work, "It features the singer wearing her medallion that says, "I AM." Odetta has always been all about Affirmation."